Local filmmaker and Southern Miss professor Miles Doleac, Ph.D., announced that his next feature-length project ‘Bat Boy’ will be filmed summer 2019 in Hattiesburg.
Doleac announced the film on Facebook Jan. 12, where the writer for ‘Bat Boy’ Jim Bulian announced filming would begin in May. Bulian has worked as associate producer on earlier films by Doleac.
Doleac said he was excited to branch out into a genre of film he had not covered before. “It’s a coming of age film about two brothers in the 1970s, one of which suffers from cystic fibrosis, and their connection through baseball over a summer,” he said.
Doleac also compared it to the classics like ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Sandlot.’ He said the difference between this film and his past films is that this one appeals to the child inside of him.
“I like things that are a bit more stylized, hard-hitting or cutting edge, but something about this script appealed to the nine-year-old kid in me,” Doleac said. “[‘Bat Boy’ has] this dreamy, nostalgic nature to it. I think it’s mostly about family and the bond between the two brothers.”
Producer and collaborator for ‘Bat Boy’ Wesley O’Mary said the movie was relatable and nostalgic and has clear and simple themes.
“[Doleac’s] films have always had multiple things they might be saying—they leave a lot for the audience to decide upon, but ‘Bat Boy’ is very direct,” O’Mary said. “What attracted me to it were the friendships in the script.”
The biggest challenge Doleac said he would face is finding the cast, which will mostly be made up of children.
Lindsey Kelley, second year Southern Miss graduate student, worked as a set designer on the theatrical production of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Itch,’ which Doleac directed. Lindsey said he was great to work with.
“From the beginning, he was really involved in the process, and the conversations were really good,” Lindsey said of her time working with Doleac. She continued, “It was actually a really lovely process. It was my first time in set design, and it definitely gave me [a good start] for my career.”
O’Mary said the best way to understand the film industry is to get practical experience outside of the classroom.
“It’s the things you don’t expect are the real obstacles while working,” O’Mary said. “People shouldn’t feel that they don’t have a shot to work with us. Anybody is always welcome to come to us, and we can get them experience.”
Doleac praised the variety of talents and locations to film in Mississippi and O’Mary’s willingness to help people of all levels of experience get into the industry.
“We feel like we’ve made a connection with this community,” Doleac said. “I think we’re finally starting to reap the benefits because we’ve committed to being here.”
The most recent of Doleac’s films is ‘Hallowed Ground,’ a film he described as a “female-forward and socially relevant” horror film, which will premiere at the Grand Theatre June 7.
image courtesy IMDb